Updated: Oct 24, 2022
Since the political and economic crisis struck Venezuela, around 7 million refugees have already fled the country. According to the U.N. data, the support funds for the Venezuelan people now across Latin America have not only been insufficient but also drastically lower than those for the people fleeing Ukraine, which has only underlined the hypocrisy of the approach to the simultaneous crisis happening in Europe.
The comparison is much more drastic when one underlines that the numbers of refugees are almost equal. The crisis has been sparked by the presidency of Nicolás Maduro, whose government has been accused of repression, human rights violations, and silencing of free speech both through media as well as protests. While since Maduro’s win in 2013, the country has experienced the highest inflation rate of 800% and severe poverty, the presidency also entailed extrajudicial killings and impactful economic corruption. The constitutional crisis and the illegitimate elections of 2017 have further triggered refuge as the dictatorial rule of Maduro following the 2019 presidential crisis has underlined the lack of possible change.
The numbers have taken their toll in the three states with the highest intake, i.e., Columbia, Peru, and the U.S., where border control and migration system have been infamous for strict and radical measures. Although the situation has improved under Biden’s administration, the support and extradition protection are temporary measures insufficient to help and stabilise the situation of incoming Venezuelans properly.
The general support for Venezuelan refugees has been externally funded through financial help for the regional migrant response, which has taken care of only 14% compared to the plan for Ukraine, which has been supported by 62%, according to The Washington Post. The funds aim to enable accessible work and protection to refugees can continue with their lives and stabilise their situation.
The migration flow has been mostly incentivised by the internal political situation and following violence and lack of access to necessities such as food and medicine. In addition, lack of international support has induced insecure refuge, making thousands of refugees return to Venezuela after the COVID-19 crisis, only heightening the numbers again months after.
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